I used to agonize over how many stars to rate a book, or how to determine what bands were my favorite, or trying to decide which movies I liked the most. If I liked something a lot, I felt like I had to acknowledge its strengths and weaknesses, or else my opinion wasn’t valid.
Now it is based on whether I can listen/watch/read it over and over and over again.
And with Hot Fuzz, I can certainly do that. I’ve wondered why, though. It’s not as if I love buddy cop movies, so I’m not reacting to the homage aspect. I don’t hate buddy cop movies, either, so the parody isn’t, erm, reaffirming my prejudices or whatever.
No, what I like is the underlying sense of menace. Of wrongness. (Rebecca, if you’re reading this you’d better have watched the rest of the movie.) We know that something’s off, and it’s made obvious to us that it’s not all in Nick Angel’s head (despite how dismissive everyone is of his ‘paranoia’).
I didn’t realize this, though, until I read The 6 Greatest Video Games We’ll Never Get to Play on Cracked. One of the proposed games:
A horror game that isn’t at all marketed as a horror game and you could conceivably go through the entire thing and not experience a single ounce of horror apart from perhaps a slight feeling as you’re playing that something isn’t right with this game world. However, if you go away from the main quest or whatever horrible creepy shit goes down and you realize that as you were playing this game that there was always this horror lying just underneath the surface and you never even saw it until just now and OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL.
And I realized: yes. Oh hell yes. I love the feeling that everything isn’t as it seems–that certain words or phrases don’t mean the same thing in the book as they do to me, that the world doesn’t follow the rules that I would expect it to…that,say, hungry roadways will eat you and specific colors can make you sick.